I think Carrie Bradshaw put it best when she said, “You’re never alone in New York; it’s the perfect place to be single. The city is your date.” You don’t really need a special itinerary to travel solo in New York, because any activity you could enjoy as a couple or with friends is equally enjoyable solo. However, here are a few NYC solo activities that I think are particularly satisfying to experience alone.
Visit a Museum
It’s no secret that New York has some incredible museums and there’s one to suit virtually anyone’s interests, from icons like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art to more offbeat options like the Museum of Sex and the New York Transit Museum. I’m a huge fan of taking audio tours in museums because I rarely feel like I have the background knowledge necessary to properly appreciate each piece. When I’m alone it’s a chance to zone out with a guide, plus the freedom to linger over the pieces that strike me, while skipping over the ones that don’t really resonate with me.
Go for a Stroll in Central Park
Maybe it’s because it has been affectionately depicted in so many films and books, but there’s just something undeniably beguiling about Central Park. Depending on your mood you can sit on a bench while reading a book; check out the dramatic views of the city from Belvedere Castle; or rent a bike and try to cover as much of the park’s 843 acres as possible. If staring at the greenery gets a little boring, there are almost always events going on in the park, from live music and theater, to yoga and photography tours.
Go See a Movie
One of my favorite memories of New York is going to see a movie at the Angelika Film Center. The oversized bag of popcorn, the charming movie I chose, and the company of all the strangers in the theater was exactly what I needed at that moment. New York has plenty of interesting independent movie theatres, so going to see a movie is the perfect compromise when you’re feeling burned out after a day of sightseeing.
Wander and People-Watch
Few people would argue that New York is one of the best cities in the world to get lost in. You can meander among the city’s fast-walking, well-dressed business leaders on Wall Street, window-shop along Fifth Avenue or browse the crowded shops of Chinatown. There’s no better way to get a feel for this city’s diverse neighborhoods than finding a seat at a café and then just sitting back and watching the city’s story unfold. There are many great hotels to help with your people watching, but a fantastic one to consider is the quirky Library Hotel with fun touches like Dewey Decimal System room numbers.
What are some of your favorite solo-New York experiences?
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